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Grand Rapids Roofing: Article About Cleaning Roof Stains

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Stains on roof shingles can be very frustrating for a homeowner. A roof may be in great shape otherwise, but even the smallest stain can affect a home's curbside appeal. The good news is that most shingle stains are manageable. In fact, most stains are easy enough to remove that homeowners can do it themselves. Some stains are tougher than others, of course, and may require additional measures, including a call to a local Grand Rapids roofing contractor.

Egging is an unfortunate Halloween tradition, and many homeowners don't realize just how much an egg can discolor asphalt shingles until it happens to them. The earlier the egg is cleaned the better. If a homeowner can spray the egg off with a garden hose before it has a chance to dry, the egg most likely won't stain at all. However, if the egg dries or is baked on by sunlight, the stain can be much more difficult. One of the most effective methods for removing egg stains from a roof is to soak them in a cleaner formulated for protein stains.

Paint is another material that can produce very tenacious stains.

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Stains from oil based paints are particularly stubborn, but stains from latex paints can also be quite difficult to remove. If the paint is still wet, one should remove as much as possible by blotting. However, it is usually impossible to lift all the paint this way, and it will eventually set in on the shingles. At that point, applying rubbing alcohol can help break the paint down. It may take a dozen applications, but the alcohol should eventually remove the paint.

Algae is probably the most common staining agent that homeowners see on their roofs. Fortunately, algae stains along with stains from mildew, mold, moss and mushrooms are relatively easy to remove. Simply fill a pressure sprayer with a mixture of water and oxygen bleach. Liberally apply the mixture, let it sit for a half hour or so and then rinse it away. If the algae returns, a more permanent solution, such as zinc flashing strips, may be required.

Rust stains are particularly obnoxious and usually result from rust on flashing getting washed onto the shingles by the rain. To clean rust, an acidic cleaner is needed. Vinegar works, but if the stain is heavy, oxalic acid may be required. It will likely be necessary to brush the stain away. It's important to use a brush with soft bristles that will not damage the home's shingles.

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